HOMESTEAD, FLA. (April 7, 2001)--Marc-Antoine Camirand, of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Can., won Round Two of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., Can. and...
HOMESTEAD, FLA. (April 7, 2001)--Marc-Antoine Camirand, of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Can., won Round Two of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., Can. and Jason LaPoint, of Woodburn, Ore., completed the top-three.
Starting on the front-row, Camirand took the lead on lap two and never relinquished the lead. Camirand, in the No. 69 www.keymotorsport.com Van Diemen Ford, quickly stretched his lead to over one and a half seconds by lap three. A lap six caution, for two cars off the course, briefly bunched the field up. On the lap 10 restart, Camirand quickly set the pace never being challenged for the lead. Two laps after the restart, another full-course caution was displayed, after three cars collided in turn four. After cleaning the debris, Camirand once again had superb restart. For the remainder of the race Camirand lengthened his lead, to over four-seconds at one stage, en route to a 2.354 seconds margin of victory. The win is Camirand's seventh of his career, tied for third all-time.
"The car was perfect in the infield," said Camirand. "The car has gotten better every session on track as me and Billy [Asaro] kept working on the setup. I got a really good jump on all the restarts and was able to pull away as the guys behind battled for position. Hopefully, this will help me secure some sponsors to move up to Atlantics this season."
Driving the No. 69 www.keymotorsports.com/POPS Van Diemen Ford, Asaro carved his way through the field to finish second. After starting sixth, Asaro was into fourth place by lap 11. Using a good handling car, he was soon challenging Arie Luyendyk Jr. for third place. After passing Luyendyk Jr., Asaro quickly caught LaPoint. On lap 24 he moved into second, where he remained for the rest of the race. The second place finish ties a career-best set last year at Indianapolis and is Key Motorsports first one-two finish since Round Two at Mosport last year. Asaro captured the Pi Research Hard Charger award for his drive.
"This is a really good team," said the 19 year-old Asaro. "I knew I had a good car and could move up through the field so I let the race come to me. As the race progressed I caught people and used the draft, which is huge here, to pass them. With Marc [Camirand] so far ahead I couldn't get close enough to draft him. This in a way makes up for the rough first race I had here back in March."
LaPoint, driving the No. 89 MARCK Racing/Regency Aviation/TrackMagic Van Diemen, started from pole, but lost the lead on lap two. While unable to stay with Camirand in the early stages, LaPoint held off various challenges to remain in second. On the lap 10 restart, Luyendyk Jr. got a good draft and was able to pass LaPoint for position. A trio of Luyendyk Jr., Rojas and LaPoint battled the remainder of the lap for position, with LaPoint winding up third when the full-course yellow came out on lap 12. On the ensuing restart, LaPoint resumed his challenge for second place, taking the position on lap 17. LaPoint held the position until lap 24 when Asaro passed him. The third place finish is career-best for LaPoint, one better then his third place finish at the season-opener in March.
"I gave it all the car would give," said LaPoint. "My crew chief told me to stick with Marc [Camirand], but I just didn't have the car. We'll make some changes tonight and tomorrow is a whole new ballgame."
Completing the top-five was Jeff Harrison, of Grapevine, Texas and Arie Luyendyk Jr., of Den Bosch, Holland. Harrison started 17th and was awarded the Truechoice Drive of The Day award for his race. Luyendyk Jr. moved up from his seventh place starting position. The Taylor Engineering "Shark" award went to Peter Gray, of Aberdeen, Scotland, who moved up from his 21st, and last, starting position to finish seventh.